“The possibilities are endless with this system. The flexibility and ingenuity of the software means that there is so much more we can still achieve.”
Kowie van Tonder – Insulated Structures, Finance Manager
Insulated Structures is a division of CGIS Refrigeration Group (PTY) LTD, a leading manufacturer, supplier and installer of commercial refrigeration solutions to the retail, wholesale and allied industries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
Insulated Structures, established in 1989, primarily distributes refrigerated display cabinets and cold rooms. With a staff complement of approximately 90 personnel, Insulated Structures offers complete after sales service and support.
Insulated Structures has been a SYSPRO customer for over two decades. The company makes use of the majority of available SYSPRO modules. During the launch of Espresso, SYSPRO’s mobile solution, Insulated Structures was offered an opportunity by Mandy van der Walt from Normandy Computer Services to test the new platform to enable their salespeople and technical staff when they are out in the field.
Although Insulated Structures was running a mobile system for their technicians to do offline quotes, their existing system was deployed on a separate database that was proving to be cumbersome and inefficient. Once SYSPRO Espresso was installed, the Insulated Structures team, together with Normandy Computer Services, developed a fully integrated mobile solution that requires no manual updates to databases and supports a drastic reduction in the administrative tasks associated with sales and service callouts.
The availability of a mobile ERP solution has widespread benefits, not only for the business, but also for their subcontractors. Insulated Structures has seen a significant drop in debtor days, reduced stock holding, an increase in turnover, increased customer satisfaction, and an overall decrease in errors and/or queries. Subcontractors have been able to automate their stock control and their invoices to Insulated Structures.
Supporting the Mobile Workforce
“One of the most time consuming and error-prone duties for mobile technicians and salespeople involves the processing of mountains of paperwork,” explains Kowie van Tonder, Financial Manager at Insulated Structures.
“Prior to SYSPRO Espresso, this paperwork was completed manually, which entailed a wide range of separate tasks, from the sign off of job cards through to the capturing of the relevant job details. This created many touch points where it was possible for errors to creep in.”
An additional problem arose when the mobile technicians allocated the stock stored in their vehicles to the job. There was no consistency with the naming of particular stock items and this made it very difficult to find these items and ensure that the costing was calculated correctly.
With the implementation of SYSPRO Espresso, a customer request for service occurs as follows:
- A service request is logged in Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) module and a job card is created in SYSPRO
- An auto notification is sent to the technician
- The technician acknowledges receipt of the notification
- On completion of the repair:
- The technician logs into Espresso and captures material used and labour
- The customer signs to accept the job card
- The customer does an online survey attached to the job
- Once saved, the following transactions take place automatically within SYSPRO:
- The signed job card is emailed to the relevant departments
- The supplier (technician) invoice is created for labour and travel time and auto emailed to the supplier and creditors department
- The materials is allocated against the job
- The job is completed and the sales order is created
“SYSPRO Espresso has had a tremendous impact on our ability to service our customers effectively and efficiently,” remarks van Tonder. “The reduction in capturing errors and improved information accuracy has resulted in an enhanced experience for our customers. Debtor days has decreased and customer retention has increased – overall, we have been able to better centralise our services.”
Resolving Stock Shortages
Technicians use their vehicles as a mobile office. This means that their warehouse, finance and purchasing departments are often represented by a disorganized mass of documentation in the back of their vehicles. This lack of proper processes and administrative practices can lead to billing errors and delays in the replenishment of stock.
SYSPRO Espresso allows Insulated Structures to maintain full control over the stock that exists inside these vehicles. The office is able to notify the technicians when stock levels are low, giving the Technicians an opportunity to replenish their supplies before a stock-out is experienced. The technicians are also able to complete quotes on-site and use the Espresso platform to attach pictures to the job card.
Improving the Bottomline
Since the implementation of SYSPRO Espresso, Insulated Structures has quadrupled their monthly service invoicing.
“We no longer have invoices piling up, waiting for job cards and matching items manually; this process is completely automated,” explains van Tonder. “As a result of our ability to invoice quickly and accurately, account queries have decreased and our customers are paying timeously.”
These factors, coupled with a reduction in van stockholding, have had a positive impact on the bottom line for Insulated Structures.
“SYSPRO Espresso has eliminated the administrative headache for our services department. Access to immediate, detailed history at the click of a button has completely revolutionised this area of our business,” says Linda Schenk (Services Manager).
The services department at Insulated Structures is a paperless environment now.
“Gone are the days of hunting through dusty filing cabinets for job cards and stock requisitions – we are able to respond immediately to customers and resolve issues straightaway. The service department is traditionally one of the business units that requires a large amount of paperwork – SYSPPRO Espresso has alleviated this constraint.”